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What's it like to live and work in the Netherlands

February 3, 2022
3 minute read
tulips and a dutch canal
1. Expats in the Netherlands🙌


First things first - you won’t be alone around here. The Netherlands has an impressive amount of expats, especially around big cities. Living in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht or similar places is quite easy for expats, even if you don’t speak dutch when you arrive here. Most dutchies speak really good English (some say their English is poor, don’t let that fool you - their “bad” English is still great). 


Either way, if you’d rather hang out with other expats until you’re totally comfortable in your new home, there’ll be plenty of options. From international meetups, bars, or specifically targeted events, you’ll form your expat circle right away.

2. Locals in the Netherlands🇳🇱


The dutch are easy going, nice and helpful. You should know though, that when they say they’re direct…they mean it. To some, this may seem rude - but that’s not their intention. They just don’t sugar coat things or apply many filters to their thoughts. It takes some getting used to, but it’s quite refreshing.


The dutch are used to expats and tourists in most places, so they’ll welcome you; as long as you respect their culture and way of living, of course. Most of them have a tight circle of friends, usually formed in their youth. That doesn’t mean you can’t befriend dutchies! Share some bitterballen and traditional songs singalongs, and you’ll win them over in no time. 


3. Working in the Netherlands💼


Working in the Netherlands as an expat is easy compared to other countries. There are many opportunities for English-only speakers (assuming you don’t arrive here fluent in Dutch…if you do, kudos!). How many options you realistically have will depend on both location and industry.


As expected, finding an international job in Amsterdam, Rotterdam or The Hague is easier than in a small town. A lot of international companies are either based here or have major hubs, so do a bit of research on that before settling in a specific city. If you have skills that are in high demand, your search will probably be a breeze. And as it’s the case in most places…if you’re in IT, you’ll probably find your dream opportunity right away.


If you’re coming to the Netherlands for a specific job opportunity, make sure you learn all about the 30% tax ruling - this could save you a nice amount of money!

As for work-life balance, the dutch truly master this. They don’t work to live, and most of them won’t spend late nights at the office or staring at their laptops. They productively use their working hours and enjoy their time off with family, friends or doing hobbies.


P.S.: bunq currently has 46 job opportunities where you can make a difference every day. Check them out!


4. Living in the Netherlands🏘️


The housing market in the Netherlands can be tricky. It’s definitely not cheap, especially when you’re looking at main cities or central areas. If you’re looking to rent, ask if your future company can help with the process. Renting from abroad can be complicated, as most landlords prefer to meet you (or whoever’s vouching for you) in person. That’s why having someone help from right here would be a good idea.


If you’re looking to buy property, the market can be hard to navigate without knowing all the rules. It’s definitely easier to hire an agent that can handle most things for you. Many of them are specialised in working with expats. If you’d like to learn more about buying a house in the Netherlands or getting a mortgage, check out this article.


Overall, the Netherlands is a safe country and there are very few “bad areas”, thus you should mainly choose your location based on needs and wants. If you’re looking for buzzing areas, you’ll fit right in Amsterdam. If you’re looking for peace and quiet, Hoorn may be right up your alley. 


So, what do you think? Are you gonna make the big move?🌷


We promise, looking at the pretty canals never gets old. And if you do make it here, we have the perfect bank account for expats



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